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Illegal Compitition

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DOGHOUSE, Nov 25, 2005.


    DOGHOUSE Member
    from Alaska
    Messages: 36

    Hey Everybody,
    Just Sittin' Here Waiting For The Latest Storm To Settle And Had A Quick Question. Recently I Put A Bid In On An Extended Living Center For The Mentally Challenged. Parking Lot Drive Ways And The Sort. When I Talked To The Director He Told Me That Another Guy Also Had Bid. Now Through Friends Of Mine I Was Able To Find Out Who The Guy Was. I Know For A Fact He's Lowball Scum And Absolutely Does Not Have A License To Do Business Or A State Tax #. Any Ideas On How To Take Care Of These Guys Who Don't Follow The Rules???? Also There About A Dozen More That Are Taking Work From Me.


  2. gpin

    gpin Senior Member
    Messages: 390

    No one is taking work from you. Maybe the other guy doesn't have insurance, maybe he does. Maybe he is friends with the director, maybe he's a relative who needs the $. Don't worry about lost business. There is alot of business out there and it's up to you to get it. Don't blame it on other people.

    Don't let "others" get you down. There are alot of experienced property managers who appreciate that you are insured and responsible. If a real business is willing to hire a non-insured 1 truck outfit and bring on the various exposure, they aren't your customer because they probably won't pay the bill! All of my customers get bombarded by snow plow bids, I have to go in a resell my services all the time. And I lose customers occassionally but I always pick up new one to replace the lost client. Then 1/2 way through the season, they experience a failure. Their lot isn't clear at 7a and I get them back.

    Stay with it and stay positive.
  3. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    I am not familier with Alaska, but very few states require anything for plowers- it's up to us to provide ourselves with the insurance, but not required, nor is a business license or EIN. There is no Federal requirement for a TAX ID or business license either.
    Don't sweat it, move on and keep pushin!
  4. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    If you want to start something,
    If you are sure he don't declare it as income, make an annonomus tip to the IRS about undeclared income, that is the biggest focus of the auditors these days. if they find he is doing this without declaring the income, you will not need to worry about him getting the jobs anymore. but, you may need to watch your back pretty close after that.
  5. genrock

    genrock Member
    Messages: 60

    Talk to the property owner and explain to him that he will be responsible for any damage to the lot vehicles and could be held personally liable for anything that happens on that lot while this lowballer is doing the job. Also explain to him that if he contracts with you for the season you will be reliable. He wont have to call someones house and get no answer and not get his lot done in time. Alot of low ballers will have so many jobs to do that they sometimes just dont show to some of them during the heavier storms.

    Also explain to him the cost of business and maintaining your equipment and that the price you charge is for that reason and that most lowballers dont take care of there equipment making them unrealiable when snow falls and there equipment dont work he wont get his lot cleaned. If he doesnt mind being liable for damage then fine theres nothing you can do except find another contract. Quote him again then leave him a card with your number and a higher price then you were charging him for contract work and tell him thats what your going to charge for on call type work.

    Put an add in the paper under your classifieds or work section and pass out business cards to businesses you would like to do and charge more for on call type work. On your business card you can leave a space to write on call fee and a space to write contract fee. Give them some time to think it over and if they get worried enough about the on call fee then they will contract with you.
  6. Dave1250

    Dave1250 Member
    Messages: 57

    Just my 2 cents

    I receive a w-4 from my accounts that pay you more then $600.00 because they write it off . I would think most large company must send a copy to you and one to IRS..... :yow!: :yow!: :cry: So maybe he will pay in the end.Good luck I know it sucks but there are more jobs for the willing to go looking for them.
  7. plowman350

    plowman350 Senior Member
    Messages: 125

    kind letter

    I would send a kind letter to the property manager something like:

    "Thank you for your interest in our snow services this year. ... blah blah blah. Please note that we provide ___ ____ ____, insurnace, and are a reputable business that pays our income taxes (just let them know you're legit). Again we thank you for your time, and even if we weren't your first choice, as somone who has been in this business for xx years, please make sure that the winning bidder has all of his ducks in a row, and can legally and safely provide you the same quality, reliable service that our clients have come to expect. If you should need our services any time in the future, please give us a call."

    Now obvisouly this is a "dirty" copy off the top of my head. But, the point is to point out how you run a legitimate business in order to protect your customers safety and liability with their best interest in mind. Urge them to choose a company which provides them with that level of safety and dependability. That may prompt them to ask their bidders a few more questions, and you may get the job. If not, you at least made a favorable impression and may have a shot next year.
  8. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I did some landscaping for a video store and the bill was almost 6k and yes they sent me a form to fill out along with some commercial properties we do. But there are ways around everything it seems these days. Like someone said before I would go to the guy you spoke with before and let him know this guy does not have whatever it is you need to plow. Its easy for people to say well just move on, let it go, etc. But if you let too many go then there you go right out of business. I try to educate all of my customers when talking to them, I have my insurance declaration page, ect. right there so it sticks in their minds. Even if I don't get the job I'm hoping it weeds out some of the uninsured, inexperienced lowballers.
  9. stumper1620

    stumper1620 Senior Member
    Messages: 222

    I totally agree Brian,
    I keep my declarations page in my bid book along with copies if they would like to contact the agent to check my claims record. (clean)
  10. repo_man62

    repo_man62 Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    Take it on the cheek and move on....theirs will come in the end. You should have enough snow up there not to worry about it. Keep it legal.
  11. nevrnf

    nevrnf Senior Member
    Messages: 456

    Just leave a contract with your bid price on it along with a 24 hour contact #. Tell him if he gets in a bind with his current contractor all he has to do is sign the contract you left him, Fax it in and follow up with a call. You will be there asap pending your current route and finish the season for him. No sense wasting time with the low baller. Professional plan of attack.
  12. Dwan

    Dwan Senior Member
    Messages: 879

    you can check out this site for a phone# to report him. They will do something about it. Just be sure he does not have a license first. this site has a link to all business in Alaska that have a license.
  13. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    While I agree with g-pin to a certain extent, I also believe that there should be a level playing field for my competitors and me. This means if I need to have a license, they need one too. Whether it is for applying pesticides or doing business or anything related to operating a business--taxes, employee taxes, any applicable regulations etc.

    So don't get up in arms about it, but do turn him in if you know he is not legit.